On 8 August 2019, the Anti-Corruption Fund Foundation (ACF) filed a report with the Public Financial Inspection Agency, following an investigation into contracts for the burning of animal carcasses, awarded by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.
The agency has spent nearly BGN 30 million to dispose of animal carcasses in 2018. The same amount was allocated in 2019. The lucrative contracts were awarded to two companies – Sin krast 2016 and Eko BG SJP. The owners of Sin krast 2016 are Yanka Nikolova-Lazarova and Borislav Lazarov, who gained notoriety during the garbage crisis in the capital in 2009 when he was the manager of Novera, one of the involved firms.
It should be noted that the chosen firms were paid to process a record number of carcasses using mobile incinerators, whose capacity is several times smaller than that of regular incinerators.
The ACF legal team has identified a number of red flags that constitute violations of the Public Procurement Act and should be examined by the relevant authorities. For example, the agency signed annexes to the contracts, increasing the volume of work assigned to the private companies and failing to request for additional performance guarantees.
Following the publication of ACF’s investigation, Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor ordered that the Specialized Prosecution carry its own investigation into the matter. On 30 August 2019, the Public Financial Inspection Agency (PFIA) informed ACF about an investigation they are carrying, following our report, as well as a report by the Specialized Prosecution.
On 24 September 2019, the agency’s executive director, Damian Iliev, and his deputy, Dr. Todorka Yankovska – Stefanova, were dismissed.
ACF looks forward to the results of the investigation, as well as to the decision of the Administrative Court – Sofia City regarding a complaint we filed against the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency for failing to provide us with information under the Access to Public Information Act.